Ivan Vasconcelos

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Ivan Vasconcelos
Ivan Vasconcelos headshot.png
PhD university Colorado School of Mines

SEG J. Clarence Karcher Award 2014 [1]

Ivan Pires de Vasconcelos has published 21 papers in peer-reviewed journals, holds five patents, and has served as assistant editor for special sections of Geophysics. He co-organized the workshop “Interferometry: The evolution of a multidisciplinary field” at the SEG annual meeting in Houston in 2009, and he has served as chairman at various SEG annual meetings.

Biography Citation for the SEG J. Clarence Karcher Award 2014

Contributed by Roel Snieder, Andrew Curtis, James Rickett, and Filippo Broggini

Ivan Vasconcelos has an insatiable curiosity and an exceptional creative drive. He continuously looks into other fields such as mathematical physics and uses this to broaden himself. He can see connections between developments in other fields and his own research and is very effective at using such connections to enrich his own work. In his relatively short research career, he has published prolifically on a range of topics and has become a respected world leader in the growing field of seismic interferometry.

His groundbreaking contributions started during his Ph.D. studies at Colorado School of Mines, when he introduced the idea of interferometry by deconvolution as a method to overcome the traditional limits of interferometry by crosscorrelation and proved the idea on field data.

Ivan is extremely independent, he generates ideas at a high pace, and he is quick to see applications of his ideas. His skills at numerically implementing new theories or concepts are impressive, which makes him highly effective at rapidly testing new theoretical concepts and applying them to data examples. He understands that such applications are essential in taking theory beyond the abstract level. This allows him to not only be imaginative in theoretical work but also to have an impact on practical applications.

Ivan’s research on creating broadside images of the San Andreas fault from drill-bit noise was published in the prestigious journal, Eos, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union. The Society of Exploration Geophysicists recently honored his contribution with an honorable mention of his paper “Imaging condition for nonlinear scattering-based imaging: Estimate of power loss in scattering” in Geophysics.

His contributions to exploration geophysics are numerous. Specific examples include: links between representation theorems of seismic interferometry and inverse-scattering Lippmann-Schwinger formulations of seismic imaging; new workflows for characterizing the subsurface with extended image-point gathers; and developing the idea of extended image-point gathers to account for nonlinearities and multiple scattering in the background model.

Since graduating, Ivan has worked in industry, first for ION Geophysical and since 2010 at Schlumberger Gould Research. His recent work has involved exploring how seismic imaging can be integrated more closely with acquisition, for example, by looking at the added value that comes from recording both a field and its gradient. This has led to his development of new methods for imaging vector-acoustic data, in particular multicomponent marine-streamer data.

Despite his independence of thought, Ivan is a loyal and humble collaborator and is always open to constructive criticism to his work. The large number of scientists with whom he has worked will attest that he is extremely social and has an outgoing personality infused with humor and laughter. He was a point of reference for other students, helping them with theoretical and computational issues. He is also admirable for his honesty and willingness to stand up for the needs of others.

Ivan is an assistant editor of Geophysics, taking on the considerable challenge and workload of special sections. The energy and professionalism with which he takes this responsibility show his genuine dedication to service.

Ivan is an exceptional person from both professional and personal points of view. His skills in the physics and mathematics of wave propagation and imaging, his creativity, his insatiable curiosity, his ability to make theory applicable to practical problems, and his wonderful personality make him one of the strongest geophysicists in his age group. For these reasons, it is with great pleasure that we congratulate him for this recognition. He is truly a young geophysicist of outstanding creativity, energy, and abilities.

Biography 2012

Ivan Vasconcelos received a B.Sc. (2003) in geophysics from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Shortly afterward, he joined the Center for Wave Phenomena at Colorado School of Mines (CSM) to pursue a Ph.D. Vasconcelos’research at CSM is in elastic wave propagation and scattering in heterogeneous, anisotropic, and attenuative media. His current research focuses on interferometric imaging from downhole acquisition geometries with applications to imaging faults and subsalt features and to imaging from drill-bit noise recordings. Vasconcelos’ other research interests are in subsurface imaging and characterization from multicomponent seismic data, effective properties of microheterogeneous media, and anisotropy versus heterogeneity in different signatures and experiments. In 2004, he interned with GX Technology, Axis Imaging Division, Denver, working on the detection of azimuthal variations of attenuation in surface seismic data. In 2005, Vasconcelos worked at Shell International E&P with Vladimir Grechka on seismic characterization of fractured media and on the modeling of effective fractured media. In 2006, Vasconcelos interned with GXT’s Imaging Research team in Houston, Texas, working on wave-equation migration velocity analysis.

Honorable Mention (Geophysics) 2012 [2]

Clément Fleury and Ivan Vasconcelos share a 2012 Honorable Mention (Geophysics) for their paper Imaging condition for nonlinear scattering-based imaging: Estimate of power loss in scattering.


  1. SEG Honors and Awards Ceremony in Official Program and Exhibitors Directory, SEG Denver 26-31 October 2014 p.36-49.
  2. Fleury, C. and Vasconcelos, I. (2012). ”Imaging condition for nonlinear scattering-based imaging: Estimate of power loss in scattering.” GEOPHYSICS, 77(1), S1–S18. doi: 10.1190/geo2011-0135.1 [1]